Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

As I have said on numerous occasions I’m not a real film critic and am really just some cat who likes to watch movies and talk about them, and I certainly don’t know jack about making movies but this isn’t going to stop me from offering director David G. Simmons a bit of advice. This movie ‘Prism’ stars one Karen Garcia who is really beautiful son, almost to distraction, which is fine because most movies cast women who are distractingly beautiful. Anyway, there is a scene where Ms. Garcia’s character of Dr. Grant gets a late night call requiring her to get out of bed where she is wearing the bra and panty in the Victoria Secret style configuration which informs the audience that not only is the woman damned good looking but she is also in possession of one the planets better female forms. In retrospect, and this is my advice, Mr. Simmons probably should have put her in a big ol’ flannel nightgown because pretty much from that point on I was thinking about what a glorious body Karen Garcia has, and considering that his film was a bit slow moving, I thought about it pretty much every time she was on screen, which was practically every scene in the entire movie. For this lechery I apologize because Mr. Simmons film ‘Spiral’ is an ambitious independent film that possesses some interesting elements though it could have used a much shorter running time.

Young Cage Martin (Brett Lee Alexander) is little boy suffering from a kind of autism that Dr. Leanna Grant (Garcia) is helping him and his parents cope with. One of the things she gives the boy is small glass prism which in the way it reflects light creates pretty rainbows and has captured the youngsters’ imagination. One terrible night a man breaks into the Martin household and murders Cage’s parents right in front of him and right before this man was about to kill the boy he holds up his prism to protect himself which causes something strange to happen, forces the gunman to drop his gun and run out of the house in fear and places Cage in a comatose state.

The boy is now in Dr. Grant’s care at her psychiatric hospital which is filled to the brim with loons of all types, and despite the mild protestations of the hospital administrator and Dr. Garcia’s occasional lover Dr. Bill Fielding (Matthew Carlton), she begins to treat Cage only to find out that there are some really strange things going on between the boy, the prism he is holding, and anyone who has a damaged psyche who touches the boy. After a few incredibly troubling confrontations with the boy and some of her patients who manage get to physically close to the boy the good doctor decides to do some research which leads her to a few interesting theories in regards to the brain, the soul, God, and the evil that surrounds us every day. These discoveries will also lead to a confrontation between the Doctor and something not quite of this earth with the life of this little boy hanging in the balance.

I’m not quite sure how to categorize ‘Prism’ as it has some horror elements sprinkled in with bits of a mystery thriller topped off with a supernatural element and it is probably because of these various divergent elements of the movie that I found the intricate and complex plot of the film difficult to follow at times. It is also because of the complex nature of the story and the large amount of dialog that went into the explaining these complexities that the film, at close to two hours, felt overly long and talky. It seems to me that Simmons, who also served as co-editor of his film, could have whittled down some this movie to create a narrative that had a better flow and moved faster which possibly could have helped the audience, or at least this audience member, focus more on the images in front of him instead of having the wandering mind focus on things that really shouldn’t be focused on.

The performances in ‘Prism’ were certainly of a higher level than your average independently produced film led by Karen Garcia, after I got over how great she looks in her underwear, leading the way with a very intensely maternal performance as the serious Dr. Grant trying get the bottom of the mystery of her comatose patient, a performance which requires the character to step out of her self-imposed emotional restrictions and deliver emotionally believable reactions to some seriously unbelievable supernatural situations. Also Joshua Childs and Jeremy Childs, who could be brothers, both give very good performances as a couple patients in the hospital ward who are required to vacillate between characters and do a credible job in doing so.

All in all ‘Prism’ has an interesting premise that starts out very well and contains some pretty good acting performances that is ultimately undone by it’s incredibly slow pacing and convoluted plotting which made the story feel a lot longer than it actually was. Not a terrible movie by any stretch but one that probably could have been a lot better if the editor had used a much sharper knife.

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